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CCS Seminar: Questioning the Medical Value of Data on Race and Ethnicity: A case study of the DynaMed Point of Care tool

Speaker: Sachil Singh
Date: Thursday 5 July 2018
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room A726, Level 7, Shepstone, Howard College, UKZN

In this presentation, Dr. Singh challenges normative views in medical research which rely on race and ethnicity as key risk factors in the onset of a patient’s medical ailments. With a case study of the DynaMed Point of Care (PoC) tool that consolidates ‘evidence-based’ medical research findings for healthcare professionals, Dr. Singh problematizes the association of race and ethnicity with medical ailments, in order to understand how the 'social sorting' of racialized and ethnicized bodies impacts patient diagnostics. He adopts the perspective that even if one accepts that race and ethnicity are informative medical categories that advance understandings of medical ailments, then an examination of those categories in PoC tools should offer accuracy in citation trail, and consistency in end-user presentation, definition and clinical reporting. His conclusions show that both medicalizing race/ethnicity, and racializing/ethnicizing medicine, contribute to the ways in which social disadvantages are cumulative, especially for historically disadvantaged populations.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Sachil Singh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queen's University (Canada). He recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Ottawa for a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In that project, he started his ongoing work on the medicalization of race and ethnicity, and the ways in which this process informs patient diagnostics. Dr. Singh completed his PhD in Sociology at Queen's University on how credit scoring in South Africa contributes to reproductions of historical forms of social inequality along the lines of race, gender and class.

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